It never rains but pours for Chancellor College of Malawi following reports that the institution may close prematurely due to an impending strike.
The workers, including lecturers and supporting staff were expected to go on strike on Monday to demand a salary increment. The rise in cost of living has laid base for the forthcoming industrial action whose direction remains blurred.
This is happening at a time when the college is drawing closer to the exam period. With only a week and two days before examinations commence, rumours of a strike have raised fears among students.
According to a letter addressed to the principal secretary for labour and vocational training and to the chairperson of the University of Malawi dated 14th November, the University of Malawi Workers Trade Union (UWTU) threatened to withdraw labour from 21st November until their grievances are considered.
The letter also indicates that a salary increment of 30 percent is being demanded by the workers. However failure of UWTU to continue with the action signals that a solution to the problem has been found.
The government also has the Polytechnic and Mzuzu University to consider after the former has had its holiday period prolonged due to the fees hike issue whereas the latter closed due to lecturers’ strike. This has forced students from the two institutions to organise nationwide demonstrations on 30th November.
Chancellor College is expected to officially break for end of year holiday on 23rd December. The College has had an ugly academic year marred by demonstrations which led to its closure in July. This led to calendar disruption hence the delayed winding up of the academic year.